Newsletter Inserts, Announcements & Tweets

Newsletter Inserts

These newsletter articles are a great tool for schools to use as a way to promote healthy behaviours and raise awareness on various health topics. Go ahead and post them on your school website, school newsletter, blog or social media! 

Newsletter Inserts (by topic)

Active Transportation
 Active Transportation and Children
Did you know that children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day?

Finding ways to fit this in daily routine is hard for busy families.  AT is any human powered form of transportation such as walking or wheeling (like cycling).  Making the choice to send your child to school on foot or by bike is a great way to be active. There are lots of benefits in the classroom for children that walk or cycle to school on a regular basis. Some of these benefits include:

  • Improved concentration and better coping with stress.
  • Being outside helps to prevent feelings of isolation and increases their social interactions.
  • Walking and biking to school can also save you money and lead to fewer cars on the road. 
  • Allows children to get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day 

For more information please visit: http://www.parentinginottawa.ca/en/children/Active-Living-for-Children.aspx

 Winter Walk Day
February celebrates Winter Walk Day.  (Insert day of the week), (Insert Date) is #WinterWalkDay across Canada. It’s the perfect opportunity for parents and kids to get outside together and stretch those legs! Walk to and from school to improve physical and mental health, create a healthier environment, safer streets, make friends and have fun! Walking is the simplest form of exercise and helps kids get the 60 minutes of daily physical activity they need. It’s also a great cure for winter blues and helps students concentrate better in class.

Tips to keep children safe and warm during your walks this winter include:       

  • Wearing a hat that fully covers the ears
  • Using a neck warmer instead of a scarf
  • Layering clothing to ensure warmth
  • Drinking warm fluids
  • Bringing extra dry clothing to change into at school

For more information on how to protect yourself against cold weather in Ottawa, go to: http://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/cold-weather-everyone.aspx

For WWD event resources, visit www.ontarioactiveschooltravel.ca/winter-walk-day . Schools that celebrate Winter Walk Day in February can register their event online and receive a Certificate of Recognition and enter a random draw for prizes. Share your #WWD20(insert year) stories and photos tagging @OntarioAST, with hashtags #WinterWalkDay, #Walk2School, #WWD20(insert year).

Dental

Ottawa Public Health supports children’s oral health in many ways such as screening children at school, Community Health Resource Centres and Public Health Dental Clinics. Dental screenings help identify oral health problems such as a dental abscess, infection and large visible cavities. Cavities can affect a child’s daily life both at home and at school. In fact, kids miss over 2 million days of school every year because of oral health problems. Cavities can affect your overall health by causing:

  • Pain and infection
  • Loss of sleep
  • Poor concentration
  • Problems speaking and learning
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Digestive problems
  • Low self-esteem
  • Bad breath
For more information about dental screenings and other dental health services call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744, e-mail DentalHealth@ottawa.ca or visithttp://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/access-to-dental-care.aspx
Head Lice
Facts about head lice:
  • Head lice cannot jump or fly.
  • Head lice are spread person to person by direct head to head contact.
  • Head lice do not survive off the scalp.
  • Head lice do not spread disease, and anyone can get them.

You should suspect head lice when you see:

  • Constant head scratching.
  • Scratch marks on or near the scalp.
  • Nits (eggs) that are glued on the hair close to the scalp.
  • Small bugs in parted hair.

Treat for head lice by following these steps:

  • Check all close contacts. If one person in the family has lice, others can too.
  • Tell the school, day-care, and children’s groups so parents can check their children’s hair. An untreated source can be reason to get lice again.
  • Talk to a pharmacist so they can help you choose the right product.
  • Give 2 treatments 7-10 days apart. Between treatments, daily nit removal is essential to get rid of head lice successfully. The first treatment will kill head lice but not all the eggs. The second treatment will kill the newly hatched lice missed with the first treatment before they are able to reproduce.
For more information contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or visit http://www.parentinginottawa.com/en/children/head-lice.asp and http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/head_lice
Helmet Safety
Make a properly fitted helmet part of your bike riding experience.  A helmet can help protect you and your family from serious injury! Tips about helmet safety: 
  • Make sure the helmet has been safety certified - look for the sticker on the inside of the helmet.
  • Helmets must be replaced every five years and/or after a crash or hard hit - even if it looks undamaged.
  • Never buy a used helmet.
  • Do not place stickers on your helmet.
  • Parents can set a good example to children by wearing a helmet.
  • Remember, anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet – it’s the law.

Helmet Fitting: 

  • Put on the helmet so that it is not tilting backwards or forward. Then check the following:   

Two fingers distance from helmet to eyebrow

V-shape straps around each ear                 

One finger between chin and fastened strap

 

For more information visit https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/helmet-safety.aspx?_mid_=18809 or contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.

Immunization
  • Immunization is one of the most important ways to keep your child healthy. Vaccines are very safe. They are a proven way to prevent serious infections. When you get a vaccine, your body produces antibodies which help your immune system to identify and destroy a virus.
  • Please visit  https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/vaccine_safety to read more about vaccine safety.

    To attend school, your child will need proof of vaccination, or a valid exemption, for the following diseases:

    Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Meningococcal disease, Pertussis (whooping cough), Varicella (chickenpox) - required by children born in 2010 or later.

  • If your child has followed the current Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule for Ontario, they should be up-to-date for school attendance. This schedule can be found on your child’s yellow immunization record or at http://www.parentinginottawa.com/en/children/immunization.asp.

  • Make sure that all vaccines given to your child by your healthcare provider are reported to Ottawa Public Health. You can update your child’s immunization record online at www.parentinginottawa.ca/immunization  or at www.parentinginottawa.ca/immunization.

  • For more information visit http://www.parentinginottawa.com/en/children/immunization.asp or contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.

Mental Health
Anxiety
Anxiety is when you don’t feel okay; you may feel afraid or worried.  It is normal for kids to feel nervous when:
  • It is their first day of school
  • A test is coming up
  • They have to talk to lots of people
  • They go to crowded places 
Sometimes kids have feelings of worry that are too much for them to handle. You may also feel like you cannot help your child on your own. If your child:
  • Has constant or extreme worry
  • Withdraws from activities
  • Has difficulty sleeping
  • Has physical complaints such as stomach-aches, headaches, and tiredness 

These may be signs of a bigger problem. Anxiety can be handled, but if left alone, it can go on into the adult years.  If you think your child has a problem coping with anxiety, there is help.  

For more information, contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or visit: http://www.parentinginottawa.ca/en/children/Anxiety-and-Stress-in-Children.aspx, or  Crossroads Children’s Centre at 613-723-1623, www.crossroadschildren.ca.

 Body Image
Positive body image and healthy self-esteem are important to a child’s self-esteem. Research shows healthy eating and being active can improve health regardless of weight changes. Weight is not always a good measure of health. Children look to adults as they develop their views about weight and body image.  Parents can play a vital role in helping children feel good with their body, and to value and like themselves for who they are.What parents can do: 
  • Help children know people come in many shapes and sizes.
  • Become aware of the messages and comments you send about your own body and other people’s bodies.
  • Teach your child not to tease others about weight.
  • Talk about how the media promotes an unrealistic body shape and size.
  •  Praise your child for their talents and skills. Focus on health rather than on appearance.
 For more information contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or visit Parenting in Ottawa at http://www.parentinginottawa.com/en/children/body-image-and-self-esteem.asp
 Kids and Mental Health

One in five children in Ontario needs support for mental health. Changes to your child’s mental health may not be obvious.Warning signs to look for:

  • Mood swings and changes in eating habits.
  • Headaches and sore stomach.
  • Low energy and not sleeping well.
  • Missing school and/or having trouble at school.
  • Spending less time with friends and family.
  • Wanting to be left alone.
  • Feelings of anger and rage.
Remember:
  • Listen to your child and trust your judgment.
  • You are the best person to notice changes.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher, he or she may have seen some changes too.
  • It is okay to ask for help and to talk to your family doctor.

For more information on kids and mental health please visit www.kidsmentalhealth.ca, www.cheo.on.ca/en/cheomentalhealth, or Ottawa Public Health at 613 580-6744, http://www.parentinginottawa.com/en/children/Mental-Health.asp

 Resilience

One of the best ways to deal with stress and life’s challenges is to build your resilience. Being resilient means learning how to bounce back or deal positively with a hard time. It is the ability to handle everyday struggles, feelings, worries and stress.One of the best things you can learn when you are facing a challenge is how to make a positive out of a negative. Your mindset is your biggest tool. Being a positive thinker helps you move past a challenge easily. A positive thinker:

  • Knows life is not perfect;
  • Is realistic, but confident they can find an answer to their problem;
  • Is able to handle a setback, not feel overwhelmed by it, but ready to try something new.
For more information contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or visit Parenting in Ottawa at http://www.parentinginottawa.ca/en/children/resiliency-in-children.aspx
Nutrition
 Healthy Lunches
It is always a good idea to pack a healthy lunch. This helps kids have energy to learn and grow. Here are some tips to pack a healthy lunch bag: 
  • Fruits and veggies should be a part of every lunch.
  • Try some dips like hummus, cottage cheese, and yogurt.
  • Select whole grain breads and crackers.
  • Buy different types of cheese (cheddar, swiss) in different forms (cubes, strings, balls).
  • Last night’s dinner can make a quick lunch for the next day.
  • Pack water for hydration throughout the day.
  • Use an insulated food jar for foods like soup, chili, stew and leftovers so they are still hot at lunch.
  • Place a frozen ice pack or frozen water bottle beside the cold foods.
  • Wash the lunch bag or box daily with warm soapy water.
For more information visit http://www.parentinginottawa.com/en/children/Healthy-Eating.asp or contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.
 Your Drink is Sweeter Than You Think

Most of the sugar in your day comes from what you drink.  We think about sugar in the food we eat but many popular drinks can also have a lot of sugar.

Why you should care:

  • Filling up on sugary drinks makes you less hungry for healthier foods. 
  • Children’s small tummies can fill up on sugar fast.
  • Sugary drinks can cause tooth decay.

When choosing a drink:

  • Water is the best choice.
  • Most fruit drinks have no real fruit.
  • Read labels and pick drinks with the least amount of sugar.
  • If sugar is first in the ingredient list, then it is high in sugar.
  • Kids are watching what you drink: your choice impacts theirs!

 

For more information contact, Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000,  Unlock Food https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/AboutUnlockFood.aspx (formerly Eat right Ontario) or visit  http://www.parentinginottawa.com/en/Hydration-For-Active-Kids-FAQ.asp or 613-580-6744.

Puberty
Puberty usually starts between 8 and 16 years for girls and between 12 and 18 years for boys. It is important to know what physical, emotional and social changes your child is going through. It will help you answer their questions and better understand where your child is coming from.

Some changes that may occur during puberty:

  • Mood changes – may feel moody, insecure (especially about the way they look), embarrassed or awkward
  • More independent – may spend more time with friends or by themselves than with you
  • Height and weight changes
  • Sweat more and can develop body odour

With these new physical changes, personal hygiene becomes important including caring for our body, face and hair. For more information please visit: http://www.parentinginottawa.ca/en/youth/hygiene.aspx  

 Tips for talking to your child about puberty:

  • Explain these changes are normal
  • Be open and honest
  • Listen
  • Answer their questions
  • Use proper terms for body parts

You do not need to be an expert. For more information contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or visit http://www.parentinginottawa.com/en/youth/puberty-and-sexual-health.asp and http://www.sexualityandu.ca/.

Screen Time
Did you know that too much screen time does interfere with a healthy lifestyle? Using tablets, computers and playing video games are examples of screen time. Children may use screens for schoolwork and that’s okay. Time spent in front of a screen can not only affect your vision but also your ability to be better in school.  Spending less time on your screen can improve self- confidence, improve fitness, maintain a healthy body weight, and have more fun with friends.

Children develop physical literacy by learning fundamental movements like running, jumping, throwing and catching. Learning how to do these movements well gives kids the skills and confidence to be physically active for life.  Children who are physically active are healthier and happier. 

Tips to help reduce screen time:  

  • Model healthy screen use, because your kids are watching you. Review your own media habits: Plan time for hobbies, outdoor play and activities.
  • Be present and engaged when screens are used and, whenever possible, watch together and talk about the content.
  • Make sure daily routines come first: face-to-face interactions, sleep, and physical activity.
  • Avoid screens at least 1 hour before bedtime and keep recreational screens out of bedrooms.

For more information please visit:

http://www.parentinginottawa.ca/en/children/Physical-Activity-and-Play.aspx#5

https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/screen-time-and-digital-media

Sexual Health
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) offers free confidential STBBI (Sexually Transmitted &/or Blood Borne Infections) testing and treatment, low cost contraception and emergency contraception at all community clinics. A list of these clinics can be found at www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/sexual-health-clinic.aspx

OPH also offers free condoms and pregnancy tests. All testing is confidential, and a health card is not needed. 

Check out www.sexitsmart.ca to learn about how to use condoms. Anyone can use their phone or postal code to find where there are free condoms nearby. There is also an order form to order a package of free condoms in the mail. 

Check out Test and go  http://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-services/test-and-go.aspx to learn more about sexual health resources. For more information contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or visit http://www.parentinginottawa.com/en/youth/puberty-and-sexual-health.asp 

Also check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OPHSexHealth and Twitter @OPHsexhealth.

Sleep

Did you know that Children 5-13 years old need 9 to 11 hours of quality uninterrupted sleep each night? Sleep is a basic need for everyone. Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for kids. It is needed to help them develop well and perform their best.  Many kids are getting less than this. Signs that a child may not be getting enough sleep are:

  • Short attention span
  • Lacks interest and motivation
  • Yawning frequently during the day
  • Drowsy
  • Hard time waking up in the morning 

Most kids will resist bedtime, but parents should be firm. Here is what parents can do to help kids sleep longer and better:

  • Have dinner and after school activities early in the evening
  • No screens in the bedroom. This includes TV, computers, phones and games
  • Bedrooms should be cool
  • House should be quiet
  • Have the same bedtime routine every night (bath, reading before bed or quiet time, lights out) 

Parents can be great role models and get a good night’s sleep too. 

For more information visit http://www.parentinginottawa.com/en/children/sleep.asp or contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744.

Substances
 Alcohol
Did you know that the human brain keeps growing into a person’s early 20s and alcohol can have a major toxic effect on brain cells? Alcohol use during the early and mid-teenage years can harm a growing brain and cause long term damage. The best advice to parents is to prevent teens from drinking or postpone the use of alcohol for as long as possible. Here are some tips that may help: 
  • Have fun as a family without alcohol use!  This helps teens learn you do not need alcohol to have fun.
  • Teens who feel loved and valued have a much better chance of avoiding problems with alcohol when they are older.
  • Teens involved with activities that make them happy such as art, sports or drama, have a sense of belonging.
  • Talk with your teen about alcohol or make sure there is another adult they can talk to.
  • Be a role model by following Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines. 

For more information contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or visit Parenting in Ottawa at  http://www.parentinginottawa.ca/en/youth/alcohol-and-youth.aspx

 Cannabis
  • Did you miss the parent information nights held this past fall on cannabis?
    • We have great news! In collaboration with school-based partners and treatment services, we have prepared a series of videos on:
      • Health effects of cannabis use,
      • Lower risk use,
      • How to talk to teens,
      • Education for youth,
      • Rules and regulations,
      • Available treatment service. 
    • See the first video from OPH on ParentinginOttawa.ca/Cannabis.

 

  • After alcohol, cannabis is the most commonly used psychoactive substance (a drug that affects your mind) in Canada. Cannabis is now legal in Canada for people 19 years of age and older in Ontario. It remains illegal for those under 19 in Ontario. Youth under the age of 25 are at a higher risk when using cannabis. Here are a few things to know:
    • The brain develops until the mid-twenties and using cannabis before age 25 can cause changes to the brain’s structure and function. These changes may permanently affect memory, concentration, intelligence, decision-making, judgement and problem solving.  
    • Early and frequent cannabis use as a teen can increase the likelihood of experiencing psychosis and schizophrenia, especially if there is already a family history. 
    • Cannabis is addictive. Using cannabis as a teen can increase the chance of becoming dependent.
    • You are your teen’s first line of defense against drugs. Start the conversation about drugs early, be open, and talk often.There is no perfect way to have the conversation.
    • Please visit: ParentinginOttawa.ca/Cannabis for more information.
 Tobacco
Did you know that tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals with more than 70 of them known to cause cancer? Tobacco is best known for three poisons: nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide.  Nicotine is the chemical that causes addiction. Tar is responsible for the biggest health risks, including many types of cancer. Carbon monoxide is a gas that forms from the process of burning known as combustion. This is what a smoker inhales and exhales as well as what burns at the end of a cigarette. Second Hand smoke therefore is very dangerous and there is no safe level. 

Tips to protect your child from Second hand smoke:

  • Make your home and car smoke free
  • Make sure your kids and youth have the facts they need. Let them know what the effects of smoking are so they know what can happen if they smoke.
  • Tell them about the immediate health effects of smoking. Smoking affects health right away, not just when you are older- youth may not get that part.
  • Set the record straight. Not everyone smokes. Many youths think the rates of smoking are higher than they actually are. In Ottawa, the most recent information says that about 9% of students are current smokers. 

As a parent, you can talk to your youth about smoking. Prevent them from starting to smoke or support them when they want to quit. 

It is important to know that if you smoke, your teen may be more likely to smoke. One of the best things you can do to protect your teen from second-hand smoke or the temptation to smoke is to not smoke. 

For more information please visit: http://www.parentinginottawa.ca/en/youth/tobacco.aspx

 Vaping
Did you know that data from a recent Health Canada survey showed that 23% of students in grades 7-12 have tried an electronic cigarette?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling a vapor produced by a battery-operated device that uses e-liquid (also called e-juice). E-liquids are available in hundreds of fruit and candy flavors.                                                                                                     

Vaping products have many names such as electronic cigarette (e-cigarettes), vape pens, mods, JUUL and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Vaping products are packaged to make them more appealing to youth.       

Vaping is not harmless:

  • It can increase your exposure to harmful chemicals

  • It can lead to nicotine addiction

  • The long-term consequences of vaping are unknown 

The three most common reasons that youth report trying vapor products include curiosity, flavoring/taste and low perceived harm. 

How can I talk to my teen about vaping?

  • The teen years are a time when your child may try using a vapor product. Help them reflect on why they are using and turn it in to a learning opportunity. 

For instance:

  • Be prepared. Make sure you have the facts about vaping including the risks of nicotine addiction.
  • Start the conversation. Take advantage of opportunities such as a recent news story, an ad for vaping products on TV or in a store. Talk to them about it and then listen to what they say.
  • Reach out for help. Visit ParentingInOttawa.ca/vaping or connect with a Public Health Nurse or parents on Facebook at Facebook.com/ParentingInOttawa.
Sun Safety
Outdoor activities are a great way to be active. While you are outside having fun, make sure to take care of your skin.

Too much sun exposure can:

  • Burn skin
  • Damage eyes
  • Cause wrinkles
  • Make it hard for your body to fight germs that can make you sick
  • Cause skin cancer 

To protect yourself from harmful effects of the sun and still have fun remember your Sun Safety ABC’S:

Avoid the sun- seek shade under a tree or umbrella,

Block the sun’s rays; use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or more 20 minutes before going outside and don’t forget to re-apply every 2 hours,

Cover up with a hat, sunglasses and clothing,

Say something/tell others- about sun safety. Signs of too much sun are: your skin gets hot and red.  You may also feel tired and thirsty. 

For more information contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or visit Parenting in Ottawa at http://www.parentinginottawa.com/en/children/child-safety.asp

"Our Health Minute" Morning Announcements

Want to encourage student wellness in your school?  "Our Health Minute" announcements will give schools the ability to disseminate health messages, encourage healthy lifestyle choices, promote students' health and wellbeing, and incorporate health into all aspects of school and learning. Go ahead and use them!

Announcements - Elementary

Mental Health

  • Did you know? Anxiety is when you don’t feel okay, or when you feel afraid or worried. It is normal to feel like this sometimes, but make sure you talk to friends, family or teachers if you feel like this for a long time.
  • Are you resilient? It doesn’t come from having a perfect life. It doesn’t mean we always have to be happy. It’s normal to feel sad or angry during tough situations. Resilience is being able to deal with tough times and recover afterwards.
  • What are these examples of: writing in a journal or talking to a friend or family member? Positive coping strategies! Coping strategies are things that you can do to help deal with stress. Share your positive coping strategies with your friends!
  • Our thoughts, feelings and actions are all connected. Which one is the easiest to change? Your thoughts! If you change how we think about something, we can change how we feel and act. Next time you’re faced with a problem, try to stop and change how you think about it. It may help you resolve the problem!
  • Do you use positive self talk? Self talk is the conversation we have with ourselves in our heads, which influences how we feel and act. By practicing positive self talk, our thoughts will be positive and help us sort out what really happened. We can then react to a problem in a much more positive way.
  • Positive self talk helps us react to a problem in a much more positive way. But sometimes, we may be feeling so badly that trying to change our self talk doesn’t help much. At these times, we need to reach out to others who can help us such as family, friends or adults in our school or community.
  • What is stress? Stress is what you feel when you are worried or uncomfortable about something; can be anything that challenges us or scares us. Some stress in our lives is needed to help us get things done. It’s important to recognize the difference between this good stress and bad stress so that we can take control of it.
  • How does our body tell us when we are stressed? You may have sweaty palms, heart beating fast, lump in throat, butterflies in stomach, shaky voice. When you notice these signs, it’s time to do a stress check and try to use some positive coping strategies to find a solution to the problem. 
  • Are you a peer leader? Remember that leadership is not about being the boss. Leadership is about getting people to work together to accomplish something.
  • Are you a peer leader? Remember that leadership is not about being the boss. Leadership is about getting people to work together to accomplish something.

  • Good communication is a two-way street. We send a message by talking and body language and we receive a message by listening. Using good communication can help to avoid conflict.

  • Conflict happens when two or more people think differently about a situation or idea. There is a difference between telling and tattling when it comes to conflicts. Telling is when you are trying to get help for someone to resolve a problem; and tattling is when you are telling just to get someone in trouble. Conflict is a part of everyday life and we all need to learn effective ways of dealing with it. Some ways include talking it out, waiting and cooling off, walking away or ask an adult for help.

Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL)
  • What is free and can help you concentrate better in class? Being active before school! If you can, try walking or wheeling to school instead!
  • Are you getting enough sleep? 5 to 13-year olds need 9-11 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night!
  • Having trouble sleeping? Avoid screen time at least one hour before bed!
  • How many minutes of physical activity are you supposed to have per day? At least 60 minutes.
Announcements - Secondary
Mental Health
  • Are you resilient? Being able to work through life's challenges in a positive way is called being resilient. It doesn’t come from having a perfect life. It doesn’t mean we always have to be happy. It’s normal to feel sad or angry during tough situations. Resilience is about how we move forward through the tough times and deal with them successfully!
  • Building resiliency is important to help us deal with challenges. What are some tools and support to help us? Asking friends, family or counselor for help. Spending time with family and friends. Getting help from a community support agency.
  • Our thoughts, feelings and actions are all connected. Which one is the easiest to change? Your thoughts! If you change how we think about something, we can change how we feel and act.
  • Positive self-talk helps us react to a problem in a much more positive way. But sometimes, we may be feeling so badly that trying to change our self talk doesn’t help much. At these times, we need to reach out to others who can help us such as family, friends or adults in our school or community.
  • Stress is what you feel when you are worried or uncomfortable about something; can be anything that threatens us, challenges us, or scares us. Some stress in our lives is needed to help us get things done. It’s important to recognize the difference between this good stress and bad stress so that we can take control of it.
  • How does our body tell us when we are stressed? You may have sweaty palms, heart beating fast, lump in throat, butterflies in stomach, shaky voice. When you notice these signs, it’s time to do a stress check and try to use some positive coping strategies to find a solution to the problem 
  • What’s your communication style? Passive, Agressive or Assertive? Assertive communication takes practice but it can promote good relationships and emotional wellbeing in ourselves and others
  • True or false: We have some control over our mental health. TRUE! Although we can’t always control what happens to us, we have some control over how we react. Sometimes changing the way we think about things can help. At other times, though, our feelings are so overwhelming that we need to talk to others for help and support.
Substances
  • What can cause permanent changes to the way your brain develops? Certain drugs including cannabis. Learn more at thelinkottawa.ca/cannabis
  • What does early and frequent cannabis use as a teen increase? The likelihood of experiencing psychosis and schizophrenia, especially if there is already a family history. Learn more at thelinkottawa.ca/cannabis

  • Is vaping harmless? NO! It can increase your exposure to harmful chemicals; can lead to nicotine addiction and the long-term consequences of vaping are unknown

  • Did you know that vaping companies are targeting you? The numbers show that advertisements must be working…vapour product companies increased their advertising spending from $6.4 million in 2011 to $115 million in 2014!
Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL)
  • What is free and can help you concentrate better in class? Being active before school! If you can, try walking or wheeling to school instead!

  • Are you getting enough sleep? 14-17 year olds need 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night!

  • How many minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity are you supposed to have per day? At least 60 minutes.

  • Having trouble sleeping? Avoid screen time at least one hour before bed!

  • Have you ever seen someone leave the washroom without washing their hands? We are supposed to scrub with soap and water for 15 seconds when washing our hands!

Tweets

Is your school active on Twitter?  Use these tweets to promote healthy behaviours and to raise awareness on these health topics.  Happy tweeting!

You can also follow us on Twitter (@ottawahealth). We tweet all types of interesting things!

 Tweets (by topic)
Active Transportation
  • Gear up Ottawa! Walk kids to school for Winter Walk Day on Feb. (Insert day) #WinterWalkDay
  • Join the fun! Walk to school on (Insert date) to celebrate #WinterWalkDay (Insert year)
  • Is your school celebrating #WinterWalkDay on (Insert date)? www.ontarioactiveschooltravel.ca/winter-walk-day
  • Walk to School today? It’s #WinterWalkDay. Send us your photos! (maybe we can retweet these) 
  • Less than half of Canadian children and youth walk or bike to and/or from school. Remember when we all walked? Let’s give them the same experience! 
  • Children who walk to school report feeling happier, more relaxed and less rushed. Let’s help them to start their day off right! 
  • Children need lots of activity. Walking or biking to school is a great way to fit it in. Let’s help them to grow up healthy! 
  • Walking and cycling to school improves children’s attention span in class and can result in better grades. Let’s help them to do their best! 
  • Walking to school? Join your kids the first time to figure out the safest route. Let’s help them to get to school in an active and safe way! 
  • Biking or walking to school can contribute to reducing harmful emissions. Children want to help the environment.  Let’s help them to do their part!
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